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Birds of Prey Animal Fact Sheet
BARN OWL
Tyto alba

Range:
One of the most widespread of all birds, the Barn Owl is found everywhere in the world except Antarctica.


Habitat: Barn Owls are nearly cosmopolitan, living in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Their northern range is limited by the severity of winter weather and food availability. These owls prefer open lowlands with some trees, including farmlands, plantations, urban areas, various forest types, semiarid shrub lands, and marshes.
Diet: The majority of prey taken is small mammals, but Barn Owls will also hunt birds, fish, reptiles, and insects. Barn Owls hunt from a perch and swoop down onto their prey, or fly within 10 feet of the ground and dive onto their prey with their talons extended.
Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: The Barn Owl has a body length of 14 - 20 inches, a 3 1/2 foot wingspan, and weighs 8 - 21 ounces. Barn Owl measurements vary greatly throughout the world.
Lifespan: Most barn owls have a relatively short life span. Many only survive one breeding season and the mortality rate may be as high as 75% in the first year of life. in one study, the mean age at death for 572 banded birds was 20.9 months. However, the longest recorded lifespan of a wild barn owl is 34 years
Reproduction & Offspring: Barn Owls nest in natural hollows in trees, cliffs, and caves, or in man-made structures, like nest boxes, barns, chimneys, and other structures. The nest is a scrape lined with pellets or other debris. The female lays 4 - 7 eggs, sometimes more, which are incubated for 29 - 34 days. Young owls fledge 7 - 10 weeks after hatching, but do not leave the area until they are 3 - 5 months old. The breeding pair may lay a second clutch of eggs when the young start to leave the area. A Barn Owl can reproduce at less than a year old.

 

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